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Archive for September, 2013

In true George Lucas style, I have told the second part of the story without telling the first! Hopefully I won’t make as much of a mess of it though!

Earlier in the year, I took Christine down to Hampton Court, to christen my birthday present, an Historical Royal Palaces pass! We met at Waterloo and took the train there. It was warm, but not as warm as I thought it might be, so I ended up being a bit chilly, but it was still a great day for walking around and looking at this amazing building!

The approach! The main entrance was actually closed for an event, so we entered near the kitchens.

This fire was sooooo toasty, and the centuries of smoke stains are pretty impressive!

The roof in the main hall – I didn’t actually get any good photos of the whole hall. I was too busy reading all the facts about the King’s hall on the tables!

I did get a photo of the high table though!

The courtyard. We got a fantastic little piece of historical theatre here between King Henry VIII, Katherine Howard and Thomas Culpepper!

And behind the Tudor front, lies the second life of Hampton Court, inhabited by the Hanovers.

Quite a different look!

the privy garden

We had lunch, with scones and jam and cream, in a warm little kitchen under the Tudor wing, and wandered around, headed out to the Maze, which was fun, but also slightly disappointing. I’m beginning to think Mazes are never quite as fun as I imagined them to be when I was small. Then we wandered through the various gardens, saw the oldest Grape Vine in Britain, and went to the Members room for a cuppa, only to find it had closed. We browsed the shops, but were very restrained, before jumping, relatively exhausted, back on the train to Waterloo.

It was such a great day and I really want to get out there again before I leave. I imagine it would look AMAZING in the snow!

And I have to show these, because, well, don’t you think they look like the mushrooms in Mario Bros?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I had a late shift at work on Monday. And I mean a late one – a sunset, starting at 5pm. So rather than sit around the house doing nothing all day, I thought i’d head over to Kensington Palace and finally check out the Fashion Rules exhibit on my HRP membership. I had been to the launch members talk earlier in the year, complete with cute little garden party afterwards. Which was kinda really awesome – champagne and nibbles at Queen Vicky’s home? How elegant!

I got off one tube stop earlier than i meant to, but it did mean that I was greeted by a view of Kensington Gardens (West of Hyde Park) that i hadn’t seen before.

The Italian Gardens in Kensington Gardens

I then walked over to the palace… and before I could get there it bucketed down so hard that my shoes were soaked through! Luckily I had an umbrella to protect everything above my knees… *sigh*

This bust is a replica of the one in Kensington Gardens and was made for Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee… By her daughter Louise!

Queen Victoria’s wedding dress. She was SO TINY!

Her riding habit. The quote from her diary on the window lament’s her not being a man, and thus able to fight in battle.

Living in the later part of Queen Lizzy’s reign, I kind of forget that she got to dress like, well, a queen! These dresses are amazing. The green in the background is a dress she wore in Pakistan. Diplomatic dressing!

Some serious beading and embroidery going on on these frocks!

Princess Margaret had some smoking style! I LOVE this dress!

Sadly poor Di got to dress like a Princess in the 80s… For the fashion of the time these are amazing, but they mostly look like sacks or misplaced prom dresses…

I absolutely LOVE this stair case! We travelled up it at the Fashion Rules members night and I got to linger on it this time. It makes me feel like I’m in a movie!

Imagine hosting all your parties in a room like this!

And looking up into this? Not sure how much of this is the actual shape and how much is the paint job, but it’s bloody impressive either way!

I felt somewhat rushed, and very damp thanks to the downpour, but it was still fantastic. The saddest bit was that I really wanted to sit down with this guy and play Magic Jacks. I ended up helping both the girls he was playing with as neither of them seemed to really get the hang of it.

(Also, he was cute)

I like it though: Basic rundown (as much for myself as anything else) 3 facedown cards, three face-up and 3 in the hand each. Must have a minimum of 3 cards in your hand. You play through in turn, 2-A, 2 resets the pack, 7 means the next person plays a lower card, and a 10 burns the deck. Once you play a card, you pick up to have 3 in your hand (if you have 3 or more, you don’t pick up). If you can’t play, you get the played deck. Once all cards are burned or played, you play the 3 face up cards, then the 3 face-down blind. Simple, but I like it. I’m pretty sure I’ve come across it before with a different name.

I really like the actors who interact with the visitors at the Palaces. They had them at Hampton court, but I didn’t really expect them at Kensington. I didn’t get a chance to watch their interactions other than the card game. man, that’s a job I’d love.

I will try and get back here one more time before I leave, take some more time (same with Hampton Court!). But in the meantime, there’s still Kew Palace and the Banqueting House to get to. And of course, my favourite? The Tower!! (I’ve been twice, but once more can’t hurt!)

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Farewell Edinburgh

So I got back from Edinburgh just over a week ago. And it’s taken me a while to recover.

This year was such a different experience to last year. A two hander play and a British crew meant a lot more people involved and a lot more fun to be had, and the production itself was so light and fun to do. I genuinely find the play hilarious, and brainstorming on it, improvising with it and getting that live response was joyful.

Not that it wasn’t without it’s problems, of course, there were some downsides to the trip, but on the whole it was fantastic. I met some amazing people from other shows, and got exceptionally drunk with them. Dinner at midnight anyone? Was also an interesting experience doing a 13 straight show run, no breaks. That was new. and I loved it.

Also? Our flat was lovely – so cosy and spacious at the same time thanks to a very … random… kind of decor. Cushions, and lamps and paintings and books and… well… a homey feel to it. And I had a princess bed… four poster, with a step to get up on it. I kinda loved it!

We got some reviews: A lovely little 3 star from Broadway Baby which is completely honest and fair (if they’d reviewed us later in the run it might have been 4) and two great geek-centric reviews from Blogtorwho.com (not written by Cam*, as that would be rather biased) and Cult Den.

Once I have fully recovered (almost there) I shall be looking into London venues to look at putting it on towards the end of October. Probably only about three or four shows, but if everyone from work comes then we can definitely fill a small theatre! There are so many people I know who would really enjoy the show! It’s so wonderfully geeky and full of references.

Though, that being said, it was hilarious working on the show in the end, as I think i turned out to be the least geeky person involved!

Here are some obligatory photos. None really of Edinburgh proper this year as I feel like a) my photography cannot capture the painting like glory of that city and b) I already have lots from my last two trips!

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Beginning of Scene 4 – but anymore and, well, spoilers sweetie!

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Our Venue, top of the mile

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Creative advertising ploys!

*Cam, my co-star, runs the Blogtorwho website.

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Last wednesday marked 18 month since moving to the UK.

*sigh* I really do love it here, but I wonder how much of that is because it’s summer right now and I do LOVE a British Summer.

I went to Hampstead Heath today, finally, with a friend from Aus (Hi Pete!) which was just lovely. We sat in a secluded bit of the Heath that made it feel like we were in a rural forest, and talked about life and love and all those things, then we wandered around the open paths, and around the pools… I kinda really want to go swimming there! There probably won’t be another day like today where i have the time to go though. Also, I don’t actually like swimming! But the water looked cool and inviting, and i think it would remind me of the river-swimming I did enjoy in the Murray as a child.

I didn’t take masses of photos, but here’s a few.

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Such a glorious day for aimless wandering, fresh air, peace and quiet (honestly, despite the people it’s so quiet!), some friendly pats with dogs and some cider and berries and a good ol’ chat.

Sadly, though, I now have just over 5 months before my visa is up. And so my thoughts must turn to planning how and when I get home. And where home will be.

At this stage I will probably move back to Adelaide, though I’m thinking of detouring via Canada and Seattle USA for a short spell on the way back to Aus (the advantage of being on the other side of the world is that absolutely everywhere is on the way home. Except Antarctica.) I want to visit my darling Miriam, since being in London constantly reminds me of her, then head over to the West Coast which I missed last time, then down to Seattle to see my family there.

I am a bit saddened by the realisation that I will probably have to leave the UK before my 33rd birthday. My visa expires on the 13th of Feb, and unless I try reentry on a tourist visa (which can be tricky, despite being legal) I need to leave by then. This is heartbreaking as I REALLY want to celebrate my birthday with all my London friends.

I have also discovered that my Great-Grandmother was indeed born in Scotland, but sadly that is one generation too far to get an ancestry visa. It really is frustrating as I don’t want to stay forever, just another summer, but it’s pretty impossible unless I get married or get another job, and loving my job and the people I work with is a big part of why I want to stay.

Like I said. *sigh*

But I have 5 more months to enjoy, a few more cities in Europe to visit (Bruge, Stockholm and Rome are all on the list, plus getting down to  France again to see friends and say goodbye to Paris), some British sights to see (I’m looking at you Harrogate), the most to make out of my Historical Palaces pass and a winter christmas and new year’s to experience.

Bring it London. I’m ready!

 

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